• "ClickToPlugin is a lightweight and highly customizable extension that prevents Safari from launching plug-ins automatically, resulting in faster browsing, reduced fan usage, and increased battery life. It replaces every plug-in object by an unobtrusive placeholder that can be clicked to load the embedded content. Further, it can replace many plug-in-based media players by Safari’s native HTML5 media player." Installed.
  • Cape solves a surprisingly common problem: I have this big bunch of rake tasks; I'd like them to run on the server, which tends to mean writing cap tasks just to run the rake tasks. Cape makes it easy to just mirror them.
  • "Sitting quietly on my kitchen table, it has already changed my radio behaviour: instead of sticking one channel on and leaving it for hours, I surf—but intelligently, discovering things I actually want to hear. Adding pictures to the radio: but just a single, little, useful one." Nice.
  • "I suppose the point I was driving to that I let myself get derailed from is that all these trends in western cinema developed over time. It moved in eras of film, from the silent film, to the beginning of the talkies, to the pulp westerns, to their revival with Stagecoach and the classical period of westerns, to the revisionist and spaghetti westerns to the brooding psychological westerns of today. What RDR fails to pick up on is that these are all products not only of the time they were set, but the time they were made." This is a good post on one of my problems with the (generally very good) Red Dead Redemption: rather than trying to be *a* Western, it tries to ape *all* Westerns, and thus is all over the place tonally. Better examples in the full body – worth a read.
  • "Thinking about what defines a particular game medium, one doesn’t always consider elements like the player’s physical posture, and where they sit relative to their fellow players. But the experience of playing a digital game with a friend on the iPad proves quite different than that of sitting side-by-side on a couch with Xbox controllers in hand, or sitting alone with a mic strapped to your head. Your sense of posture and presence is part of the game’s medium, as much as the material of the game’s manufacture. Playing Small World gave me a frisson of novel confusion, marrying the player-interactivity of a board game with the board-interactivity of a computer game. I felt the seam that joined them, but it felt right. This was something new, comfortable, and fun." Jason McIntosh on how tablet gaming is similar to the "cocktail" cabinets of old.
  • Today's Guardian, from Phil, which is brilliant, for all the reasons explained in his post about it.
  • "Although the finished site looks nothing like a newspaper I think it has more in common with newspapers’ best features than most news websites do. The sense of browsing quickly through stories and reading the ones that catch your eye, feels similar." Phil is smart. This is good.
  • "But I think to succeed eReaders need to meet the needs, not just of the direct user, but of those around them, the friends and family who may not welcome their loved one’s absorption in this exciting new media. They are the “next largest context” within which the new device must win acceptance… The first question [with a digital device] is no longer “what are you reading?” It’s “what are you doing?” – a question that somehow already carries a hint of reproach."
  • Beautiful: capturing graffiti with an ultra-basic setup (torch sellotaped to pen and webcam), and then translating that into vector geometry that can be stored as an XML dialect. I like how simple and open it is, and the fact that Graffiti Markup Language is designed to be used in the field (even if it can't be yet).
  • "In one sense, Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker! is a truly exotic bit of esoterica — a game on the Columbia riots, printed back in 1969 in the pages of the Columbia Daily Spectator, and designed by James F. Dunnigan, one of the finest and most prolific designers of board wargames… In Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker! you play either as Columbia University's administration, or as the radicals who have seized control of Fayerweather Hall. You are attempting to influence the opinions of various stakeholders in the university — students of different sorts, the alumni, and so on. Random event cards influence play. Ultimately, the side that gains the greatest sympathy on the part of university stakeholders wins."
  • "Zoom in on that spot there." Blade Runner has a lot to answer for; notably, this.